Wow, this list could go on a bit. I might keep adding to it…leave a comment, who else should I add to the list?
These groups are all over Facebook, Meetup and others. You can find amateur photography meetup groups in a city or town, any location near you. Most of the time they are a fun group to be a part of. I’ve joined a few photo walk groups for so many different types of photography in my time, and generally thoroughly enjoyed myself. That said, there are several types of people who always seem to crop up. Here are the types of people who join photography groups:
The Group Organiser/Leader
A top person, a star. Generally they are very outgoing people, welcoming new members. What makes them so great is the fact that they have taken time out of their own lives to arrange a meetup group, scout for and research locations, organise people, keep them moving along and are generally just a friendly person. Respect to them.
The Mother Hen/Father Hen
Shoots with a compact or Mirrorless system. Appoint themselves as vice leader even on their first attendance of the group meeting. They tend to be amateurs who enjoy the craft. They show up at every meeting, often just taking photos with a smartphone or compact because they just want to get out and reconnect with new people. They can get side-tracked and go on random shopping diversions insisting the group wait for them as they go and try on a new hat or scarf in a store. They do have an air of maturity that they think everyone should wait on them.
The DON’T TALK TO ME Emo
Shoots Manual. Knows what they are doing. Often this is someone dressed in black, looks depressed, almost emo, doesn’t show that they are enjoying themselves. They lurk toward the back like and awkward teenager (often they are an early 20s socially undeveloped art student) and fumble with their camera. They try weird angles, and generally figure out a way to make any photo, be it a beautiful landscape, flowers, cute dog, or something look creepy and caption it in a strange way on Facebook to make a point about global warming or right wing governments.
The Macho, Mancho Mantographer
Shoots with the heaviest camera possible. This is easily discernible. They arrive looking like they have come from the gym, in a tight black t shirt to show off their muscles, and skimpy man shorts. They pull out the biggest DSLR camera and lens combo they could afford (normally it is expensive, as this type of member can also be the Gear Peacocks/Know it Alls, see below). Often, there is no strap, even though it is a $8,000 or more piece of gear, these guys are too good for straps. Often they show off by changing lenses regularly but also do something totally amateurish like clean the lens (or mirror) with the corner of their t shirt moistened with ball sweat. Will generally use the rapid fire to take photos of a motionless object. Couldn’t take a decent shot to save their lives, only every posts pictures of their car.
The Gear Peacock
Shoots with as much gear as possible and likes to show everything what they have. Generally these guys have multiple bodies, lenses and like to show off. They generally tell everyone how they got it all at a bargain basement price. Believe they should be worshipped for their superior gear. Never ever let them see the Amateur Artist.
The Know it All
Shoots with similar gear to the Peacock. Starts random conversations with other members and tries to tell everyone how much they know about photography, and what stores are sh*t, what stores are worthy of their presence, generally tired to use ISO, apertures, shutter speed and rapid fire in the same sentence at least twice. If they see another member with a different brand of camera gear than them they will spend most of the photo walk telling the poor soul how rubbish their gear is. Big egos.
The Amateur Artist
Shoots with something amazing but subtle, mirrorless or even film. Generally gets talked down to by the Know it Alls or Gear Peacocks. Get regarded as weird by the Macho Macho Mantographers. Actually shoots the best shots of the group. But does it subtly. Generally they are also published or sometimes professional photographers just looking for something different to do other than fashion or architecture photography. Great people to observe.
The Just Bought a DSLR members
Shoots with a new entry level DSLR. These are generally nice people who just want to hang out. No egos. Keen to chat and learn.
Doesn’t actually shoot. Just talks and talks.
The come and goers.
Those who try the group, but disappear after 1 or 2 meetings. They shoot trough like that awkward person you dated a few times and never heard from again.
The High Dynamic Range Junkie
Shoots with whatever. Only shoots RAW. They lifts the shadows and crushes the highlights of everything they shoot to making it look vomit worthy HDR. Man I wish the HDR craze could fade into oblivion. HDR photos look awful. What happened to a nice deep black?